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Unexplained PlayStation Network and Sixaxis phenomena, mostly explained

Jonti Davies
11.30.06
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The PS3 is not, it's fair to say, perfect. Yet it's not the complete mess that some fanboys would have you believe, either. In truth, it's just imperfect. Like most consoles (except for the SNES). Anyway, some of those imperfections affect online play with the PS3. And those are the ones that bother us most.

We've been playing Ridge Racer 7 online every day for the past three weeks, and largely without complaint. A few recurring problems have, however, started to sap our Ridge Spirit (whatever that is). For one thing, intermittent Bluetooth downtime suffered by the Sixaxis has led us drifting helplessly into track barriers. That's a hardware fault, but a software anomaly was also experienced at this blogger's test location of Kyoto, Japan, where yesterday a race was won without any true racing:

Our Meltfire motor lined up in pole position on the starting grid, we took off at a good pace, then checked our rear-view mirror to see the other nine racers involved, lagging about 200 meters behind. A second later, they were gone. All our competitors had disappeared, leaving us to amble around the Aviator Loop circuit and, very smugly, pick up some serious Online Battle Points. That was a one-off (although we secretly hope it happens again).

Unfortunately, the Bluetooth deadzone niggle -- caused by automatic Bluetooth re-syncing -- continues to niggle. Worse, having to occasionally connect the Sixaxis via USB in order to manually re-sync its Bluetooth connection is something of a downer. And we want uppers. So, Sony, please release all the firmware updates you can. We've not written you off yet.

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